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The Best Scroll Saws for Making More Precise Cuts

Saw through wood, metal, and plastics with greater accuracy.

best scroll saws
Staff, Courtesy of Dewalt

A scroll saw is a great tool for making precise corner cuts and intricate curves. This makes them a popular choice among many different types of trade professionals, including custom woodworkers and even people who make toys by hand. A scroll saw is also convenient for fine detailing and projects involving smaller pieces of wood.

Specs to Consider

Throat Size

Sometimes also referred to blade length, the throat size is a horizontal measurement of how far the material can go before it hits the frame of the saw. (The “throat” refers to the space between the frame and the blade.) If you are working on a piece of material that is bigger than that, you will need to rotate or reposition it to cut a different area as you go along. Throat size for scroll saws can range anywhere from 12 to 30 inches, but most commonly, machines are in the 16- to 20-inch range.

Pinned or Pinless Blade Attachment

As you might guess from the name, pinned blades use pins to secure the blade. Pinless blades use clamps, instead. Pinned blades are bigger and thicker and often more of a pain to work with, particularly in regard to the blade-changing process. However, some people prefer them because they keep the blade more secure and can cut down on vibration. So, this choice really comes down to personal preference. Many of the newer scroll saws work with both types of blades.

Variable Speed Control

Higher speeds enable cleaner cuts but will typically cause the blade to get hotter faster—possibly hot enough to create burn marks on wood. Some people prefer to work at lower speeds for better control. The standard speed range for a scroll saw is anywhere from 400 to around 2,000 strokes per minute (SPM), with speed increasing along with the number of strokes.

How We Evaluated

As the former owner of a construction and property maintenance business and a passionate DIYer who is fond of crafting all sorts of materials, I’ve used a variety of scroll saws and drew upon that experience when evaluating models. I compared the throat size, design, features, and cost of dozens of models. After consulting reviews from hundreds of Amazon users and referring to manufacturer information for product specifications, these seven scroll saws stand out for their performance, dependability, and value.

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Best Overall
DeWalt 20-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
DeWalt amazon.com
$687.37

Key Specs

  • Model: DW788
  • Throat Size: 20 in.
  • Blade Attachment: Pinless
  • Speed: 400–1,750 SPM

This is a great all-purpose scroll saw that’s a fine choice for hobbyists and pros alike. It’s very user-friendly and easy to operate, with an arm that lifts with little effort and pivots for more convenient and comfortable operation. This makes it a great overall choice for everyone, regardless of skill level. The pinless attachment allows for fast blade changes without any tools.

  • Durable construction
  • Quick and easy blade changes

  • Expensive
Best Compact Saw
Dremel Moto-Saw Kit
Dremel amazon.com
$166.74
$112.00 (33% off)

Key Specs

  • Model: MS20-01
  • Throat Size: 10 in.
  • Blade Attachment: Pinned
  • Speed: 1,500–2,250 SPM

Dremel is known for its woodworking tools, and the Moto-Saw Kit is probably one of its more popular offerings. The kit’s compact size and portability make it very versatile, because you can transport it easily and maneuver it however you need. Although the manufacturer claims it works on metal, some users report they didn’t get good results with metal and advise using it just with wood and plastic.

  • Small and portable
  • Great for cutting wood and plastics

  • Might not be the best option for metal cutting
Best Value
Rikon 16-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Rikon amazon.com
$240.07

Key Specs

  • Model: 10-600VS
  • Throat Size: 16 in.
  • Blade Attachment: Pinned and pinless
  • Speed: 550–1,650 SPM

This Rikon saw earns high marks for solid performance, and considering its midrange price point, provides an especially good value for a scroll saw. Amazon users also like the easy blade-changing process that can be completed in a few quick steps, but some people reported the saw wasn’t quite as durable as they expected.

  • Includes work lamp
  • Stable cast iron base

  • Some users report less-than-optimal durability
Affordable Entry-Level Choice
Bilt Hard 16-Inch Scroll Saw
Bilt Hard amazon.com
$129.99

Key Specs

  • Model: N/A
  • Throat Size: 16 in.
  • Blade Attachment: Pinned and pinless
  • Speed: 550–1,600 SPM

This is a great starter scroll saw or a good choice for someone who is more of the occasional hobbyist. The machine works fine for basic jobs but might not be heavy duty enough for constant use or more exacting jobs. You can cut up to 2 inches in depth at a 90-degree angle, which is at the higher end of the typical range.

  • Inexpensive
  • Includes work light

  • Some Amazon users report the blade has a tendency to travel slightly
Handy Features
Skil 16-Inch Scroll Saw
Skil amazon.com
$169.00

Key Specs

  • Model: 3335-07
  • Throat Size: 16 in.
  • Blade Attachment: Pinned and pinless
  • Speed: 500–1,700 SPM

For the price point, this saw is a good entry-level choice. It has some convenient features, such as the onboard tool storage and dust removal system. Although the manufacturer says it’s designed to use both pinned and pinless blades, some Amazon customers say they get better performance when using pinned blades.

  • Integrated dust removal system
  • Built-in blade storage

  • Users report better results with pinned blades
Reduced Vibration
Delta 20-Inch Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Delta amazon.com
$392.08

Key Specs

  • Model: 40-694
  • Throat Size: 20 in.
  • Blade Attachment: Pinned and pinless
  • Speed: 400–1,750 SPM

This saw has a low-vibration design that allows for more precision when cutting (and also reduces noise). Tool-free blade tightening makes blade adjustments easy and quick. The built-in blade storage is also a handy feature. Some Amazon users were unsatisfied with the instructions, which they said weren’t very clear, specifically with regards to the knob assembly.

  • Tool-free blade changes
  • Large blade length

  • User report assembly instructions aren’t clear
Great for Larger Materials
Wen 16-Inch Two-Direction Variable Speed Scroll Saw
Wen amazon.com
$127.22

Key Specs

  • Model: 3921
  • Throat Size: 16 in.
  • Blade Attachment: Pinned and pinless
  • Speed: 400–1,600 SPM

This Wen model is one of the most popular scroll saws around, which is especially impressive considering its affordable price. The beveling table is great when working with larger pieces of material. It’s also packed with convenient features, including a LED work light and built-in blade storage.

  • Sturdy cast iron base
  • Inexpensive

  • Some users report movement with pinless blades
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